How times are a changing a notable folk singer reminisced some years ago. I of course refer to the recent KERRANG! review of WOLVERINE’s latest Prog opus “Still”. A review that resulted in a tip- top five K’s is not to be grumbled at and most importantly shows that KERRANG! and in particular its readership is being pointed in the right direction concerning the choice of quality and sustainable music. Even a few months ago the notion that a Prog Metal band would get a glowing review in the hallowed, often fashion lead, pages of KERRANG! would have been a thought too far. Times they are a changing indeed.
However here it is and here is WOLVERINE fresh from last year’s excellent “Window Purpose” showing that despite their early years as a Melodic Death Metal band their musical progression is fast attaining new commercial and critical acclaim. Whereas “The Window Purpose” still showed elements of their heritage “Still” is a far more cultured, eager and open release. Although Prog Metal still rules the roost there are many twists and turns throughout culminating in a broad spectrum of Progressive sounds. Gone is the primordial grunts of drummer Marcus Losbjer replaced entirely with the quite charismatic voice of Stefan Zell showcased superbly in the semi acoustic “Hiding”. However not to be outdone by any stretch his brother Mikael Zell delivers some intricate and dexterous guitar playing especially on tracks like the epic “This Cold Heart Of Mine” and “A House Of Plague”.
What is also most encouraging and even surprising is a direct musical reference point for the band. Ostensibly they are Progressive but owe little to the giants like FLOYD, YES and RUSH and at the same time travel a distinctly alternative Prog path to modern day Prog Gods DREAM THEATER. That can only be a good thing and should stand the group well for the future. (Online October 9, 2006)